Health and Safety Abroad | University of Portland

Health and Safety Abroad

For the latest updates on travel restrictions to the U.S., please refer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Website.

As we transition to online learning we are still available via phone and email for our usual M-F 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. workday. 

The safety and security of our students is a core element of the Studies Abroad mission, and we emphasize and educate on the importance of health and safety abroad throughout the study abroad process. Students are required to attend a Health and Safety orientation before they go abroad, where they will receive detailed guidelines, information, and best practices for staying healthy and safe abroad. In addition to the work our office does to ensure students are prepared for safe and secure experiences, the success of our mission also relies on the vigilance and preparedness of students while they are abroad.


All students participating in UP or IES programs are covered by an international insurance plan , which is included in the program fee and covers medical emergencies and emergency evacuation in addition to most everyday medical costs. Regardless of whether or not a student is covered by his or her parents' insurance, this institutional insurance coverage is required for all students. 

Health Abroad

Maintaining healthy practices is important for students, as they are face new cuisine, cultural practices, sleep schedules and activities. Students should focus on eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, and monitoring their mental wellbeing. The Health and Counseling Center is also a resource for students to utilize while abroad. UP students who may be struggling with the adjustment process or other mental health concerns while abroad can access telephone counseling services (outside of 8:30 to 4:30 PST,M-F) by calling 503-943-7134 and selecting Option 3.

Receiving medical treatment for illness or injury can look very different outside the US, and varies from country to country. Students will receive information at their pre-departure meetings about the details of health care in their specific country, as well as challenges they may face while abroad. In addition to the advising and information given out at these meetings, students and their families may find these additional resources helpful in researching vaccine requirements, medical practices, and other health information.

Safety & Security

In addition to monitoring and maintaining their health, students and their families should familiarize themselves with any threats to security abroad and ways for the student to protect him- or herself against them. As mentioned above, students should follow the following guidelines to stay secure abroad:

  • Be familiar with local laws and regulations, and obey them at all times.
  • Be aware of any travel advisories posted by the U.S. Department of State. Conditions in many countries can change quickly, so check in before traveling and while abroad.  
  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, avoid crowded areas when possible, and do not travel with excessive amounts of cash or valuables.
  • Know the emergency phone numbers for any country or region you are living or traveling in.
  • Dress appropriately and to blend in, rather than wearing excessively expensive or revealing garments that could attract unwanted attention.

If you are abroad and in need of emergency assistance, please call:

ASSIST AMERICA (part of CISI insurance coverage for all UP students): +1.609.986.1234

UP Campus Safety: +1.503.943.4444